Like every year, this year also World famous Bargarh Dhanu Yatra is going to be celebrated with pomp and grandeur with Bhubaneswar Pradhan playing the role of ‘Kansa’, who has won audience by his spectacular performance during 1998-1999 and 1999-2000.
Though he is not a new face, he is sure to perform the best of his part in the world’s largest open-air theatre with the blessings of Lord Krishna beginning on 23 December, who has been selected to play the role of mythological character ‘Kansa’ for this year by the selection committing defeating 22 contenders.
Odisha’s leading vernacular daily ‘Pragativadi’ caught him up on this happiest occasion and he spoke out his heart.
Q: Bargarh Dhanu Yatra is based on mythical story. Many role models like Nanda Raja, Vasudeva, Ugrasen are playing in the character. Why do you choose to play Kansa?
Ans: In the eye of every one Kansa is a villain and he did evils. But the thing is not like that. There is no difference between Lord Sri Krishan and Kansa. Only the difference is that Lord Sri Krishna is ‘Swayam Narayan’ and Kansa is the son of devil durbarasur. But the real father of Kansa is Sri Krishna, which has been proved in Haribansa.
Q: You have already played Kansa twice before. At that time you proved your acting skill. After years of interval, you have again been selected to play Kansa. How do you feel now?
Ans: First of all, I would thank to the people of Bargarh and my family members, who always encourage me. I am glad that I have got another chance to play Kansa in the world famous Dhanu Yatra after years of interval. I am so excited that I have forgotten words to express my happiness.
Q: What will be your message to the people of Bargarh and the State as Mathura Naresh, which you are going to play for 11 days?
Ans: The people will understand it better what my message would be in the upcoming Bargarh Dhanu Yatra beginning from 23 December. But, before, I would like to say one thing ‘Truth has and always will prevail over the forces of the evil’ (Akshya heu punya jagate dharmara heu jaya)
Q: What is art to you, a passion or profession? If it is a profession, then how do you accept it?
Ans: Art is not profession, rather passion for me. I lost everything, including my paternal property, for art. However, my father always stood by me and persuaded not to worry about losing the property. He inspired me to live with art and the artiste in me and said “we might sell our house but don’t quit art”. Since then, I have been working and living only for art. I have nothing, till I am happy with applause of audience.
Q: What are your plans to carry the art forward?
Ans: Earlier, I have said that art is everything for me. I lost everything for art and artiste. Even, I have no land for my grave after my death. But, I never worry about all these. I always respect art and will do till my death.
Q: Will you say something about your personal life?
Ans: I have no personal life. Yes, art is my life. I can’t live without it. Whatever I get from art I suppose that is my life.
Q: Say something about your family
Ans: I was born at Sarla village in Bargarh district in the year 1967. I am married to Pratima Pradhan and blessed with three sons – Ajit, Akshaya and Aswini. All three are artists. Ajit plays Narada and Akrura character, while Akshaya is a choreographer Aswini is the future Kansa.
I am living a happy life with my better half Pratima who has always been supportive to me which inspires me to live and work ahead.
My parents, father Hari Pradhan and mother Gahala Pradhan are no more.
Q: Would you like to share some experience and memory of your artistic life?
Ans: Art is everything to me. I had started an opera house in the year of 1995. It was famous as Maharaja Party which entertained people for 28 years, but not operating anymore. While Budhadev Pradhan is my academic teacher, Gopal Sahoo alias Ali is my Kansa guru.
I first acted as a Mantri (minister) in Bargarh Dhanu Yatra in the year 1994. I have played many characters like Tarakasur, Murasur, Hiranyakasyap etc. But the Kansa character in Bargarh Dhanu Yatra has always been my dream character and I will be. I appreciate it as the greatest achievement of my artistic life.